La Casa del Terror (1959)

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I had planned on blogging about Lon Chaney’s Universal Wolf Man films, but I got on a tangent and discovered this curiosity from Diana Films, S.A., Mexico. You can find the Laguna Films DVD on-line for about seven bucks. The print appears to be from a 16mm source (?) with crappy centering as evidenced by the right edge of the titles being clipped. The print and sound are decent (ha -the film even heists Bebe and Louis Barron’s electronic tonalities from Forbidden Planet!). The DVD is entirely in Spanish with no sub-titles. Hell, on a Saturday night I’ll watch anything, except for perhaps a main stream Tom Hanks’ film (you couldn’t drag me to see Cloud Atlas).

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Holy crap this film is a horror-comedy, and to quote a wise dead man, a little bit of “Tin Tan” (actor Germán Valdés, born Germán Genaro Cipriano Gómez Valdés Castillo, d. 1973) goes a long way. A man taking a siesta during a lightning storm or cramming his face full of food is not funny to me (unless it is John Belushi in Animal House). However, La Casa del Terror is a lot of fun and all the mad scientist trappings are here: a creepy old mansion, wax figures, men in lab coats, a big ass hypodermic needle (I mean really big), a Mexican Boris Karloff, a wacked out human centrifuge, lightning bolts, ray guns, hidden sliding panels and monsters! Chaney plays a mummy and a werewolf! The sets and makeup in the film are a hoot.

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Chaney was probably hitting the tequila competently during the making of this film, but he delivers. He looks good once again in werewolf makeup. I like the inclusion of prominent ears and loafer-style shoes. If you’re down in Mexico making a monster film you might as well be comfortable.

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I need to find a sub-titled version of this film. It’s a keeper! Seriously, along with a Route 66 Episode, this was the last time Chaney played a werewolf.

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